Water your hibiscus before the wild flowers: Why we're nicer to strangers than our loved ones?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 01, 2017

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Quick Bites

  • We are always trying to please strangers whom we meet.
  • We somehow tend to take our close ones for granted.
  • Our familiarity with the close ones can often cause contempt.
  • It is important to allow a sense of gratitude towards our near ones.

“Familiarity breeds contempt” – so goes the old idiom that we learnt at a tender age. The vivid colours of our restive heart change with the changing of time, the question is whether it stops often to quiver for a loving old face. 

In theory, relationships are very quaint in nature, whatever kind they may be. You cannot “break up” with your parents or siblings; you will almost always give it a great deal of thought before parting ways with your lover, or calling it off with an old friend. This is why we tend to be so comfortable around people whom we love deeply, around whom we can be sure of ourselves, in whose company we can be our own true selves. This is why we tend to take them for granted, and we tend to forget that we should be extra nice with those whom we love. Then there is the intention of pleasing strangers, and together we churn a type of mannerism that is strange in nature.

nicer to strangers than close ones

Why the Difference?

Sometimes it could be the old saying, “familiarity equates contempt”, it can also be a sense of boredom, but most times it may not be so. There are two very clear aspects of this topic, and we need to be very sure to understand both. The question about contempt comes in mostly in terms of marriage or a love relationship wherein the man and the woman come to a point where nothing is a mystery anymore and there is only boredom in their song of life. Then add the fact that when you know a person all too well you also get to know and understand their faults and their inhibitions, their deepest secrets, their weaknesses and so on. All of this contribute to a strange sense of knowing, which is far too abnormal. When you delve deep into someone, after all, they all seem the same.

But then again, on the other hand we have the question of longing, the question of being too familiar with a person. In this case we take things for granted and we do not ever imagine the relationship to break, thus behaving in whichever way we like. This does not mean that we do not love the person, but it only means that we are too naïve not to give it much thought, we are far too naïve to overlook.

The Sweetest Smile for a Stranger

The stranger in the subway train whom you just struck up a conversation with is a new person, and is all the more interesting to you than the people you know. This is the ultimate truth. Therefore, you are all the more nice to the stranger than you normally are with your own people. Is this wrong you ask? May be it is, but it is not a sin so long you do not begin to replace your current relationship with one with a stranger. Of course, after one meet most people tend to become acquaintances, but think whether you are being fair. This is especially true in the context of marriage and love affairs. Your familiarity with your spouse or lover can definitely breed contempt or boredom, but remember that it is our duty to make things worth the while.

relationship differences

It is very important to understand that people closer to us are the most important, however they are, whatever they do. This is why you should need to practice gratitude, you need to thank your lover, your parents, your siblings, and whosoever has pinned your picture in his or her heart. Tolerating and understanding people closest to you are your job, try to be good at it.

The wild flowers which are quietly growing iin your garden are more appreciated than the hibiscus you are breeding so dearly. But remember that these wild flowers will only stay bordering your garden, while your main attraction would still be the hibiscus. Are you willing to bring the wildflowers to the forefront, or are you going to water your hibiscus?

Image source: Getty

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